September 4, 2009

Am I Overreacting?

PK went back to daycare (for a full day) on Wednesday for the first time since getting sick. It was a relief to be able to put her back into daycare, though I'm sure she'll pick up her next bug soon (unless she picks up my latest bug). I don't want to think about that. Anyway, I've noticed that she's been a bit different since going back to daycare. Lately, whenever I drop her off, she has been FRANTIC. It's weird, because when she first started going to daycare (apart from her transition period), she was totally calm when I dropped her off.

Now, I don't want to be all paranoid here, but I wonder if one of the caregivers isn't treating her so well. What really got the idea in my head was when I dropped her off today. She was frantic again. I held her until there was a high chair available for her to sit in, so that she could have her breakfast. Meanwhile, I noticed that one of the caregivers was talking to this one girl sitting on the floor by the high chairs. She was starting to sound annoyed at the little girl for sitting on the floor, telling the girl that the floor was cold and that she should get up. The little girl didn't know any better (or maybe she ignored the caregiver) and kept on sitting on the floor. After a few attempts of asking the little girl to move (in a rather annoyed voice), she grabbed whatever toys that little girl was playing with, threw them onto the playmat at the other end of the room, and the girl soon followed. I'm not sure if she got up on her own and went after the toys, or if she was made to get up to go after the toys (hard to say since I was paying attention to PK).

Anyway, I wasn't too pleased with the caregiver's tone with the little girl. She's just a kid. This same caregiver put PK on one of the highchairs. PK was still really frantic while we put her in the chair, and I could tell that this woman was starting to get annoyed by PK's cries. I think she actually really likes PK, but her patience with PK was thinning.

Am I overreacting? Am I looking for trouble where there is none? Before I was complaining that PK didn't cry when I left her at daycare, and now I'm complaining that she does. Part of me feels good that she doesn't want me to leave, but part of me can't help wondering if maybe it's because she's scared of being left there. After all, she okay about being left at daycare in the mornings. But then it could also be that this whole separation anxiety thing kicking in. Or, there's also the possibility that she's just not herself yet after recovering from that ear infection. It could happen. She's been pretty lethargic all week, not wanting to walk around, and wanting to take long naps. I'm guessing it's just a post-illness thing. Maybe this strange behavior at daycare is the same thing.

At the same time, I can't ignore what I saw today. The hubby and I talked about this incident, and we're going to keep a close eye on things. I guess if this woman continues to be harsh with the kiddies, I'll have to bring it up with the site director. After all, I pay good money to leave PK at this daycare all day. I need to make sure that she is being well taken care of.


Mr. Shiny and New said...

It's good to be slightly paranoid about your kids but just remember that one data-point isn't a trend. Also there're probably several other caregivers at the daycare in that same room throughout the day, which should help moderate things.

It's possible this person was just having a bad day. But if I were you I'd do exactly what you are doing: keep an eye on things. Sadly your daycare's video camera system is probably as useless as mine: you can see that there are people in the room, and you can pick out your kid if you remember what she is wearing, but otherwise, it's a silent, jerky, blurry mosaic. Anyway, if PK still seems unhappy, especially if you can see what she's doing before you pick her up (when she doesn't know you're looking), talk to the site administrator. Or take a day off work and volunteer at the daycare (or just drop in) and see how things are.

Fawn said...

I agree with Mr Shiny and New. I don't think you're overreacting, since you're not jumping right down that worker's throat or to her boss. I think it's normal for kids to go through periods where daycare is fine and others where it isn't. She's just been away for a week and it's very typical to have separation anxiety after an absence from daycare. On the other hand, you should never be complacent about your child's care, right? Keeping an eye on things is probably a great approach. Sometimes I catch myself saying or doing things with my kids that I realize I wouldn't say or do if there was someone else around.